COOKE, Sir George, 3rd Bt. (1662-1732), of Wheatley, Yorks.
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Family and Education
bap. 16 May 1662, 2nd but 1st surv. s. of Sir Henry Cooke, 2nd Bt., of Wheatley by Diana, da. of Anthony Butler of Coates, Lincs. m. 19 June 1683 (with £2,000), Catherine (d. 1703), da. of Sir Godfrey Copley, 1st Bt., of Sprotborough, Yorks., sis. of Sir Godfrey Copley, 2nd Bt.*, 7s. (2 d.v.p.) 2da. suc. fa. as 3rd Bt. 16 Dec. 1689.1
Commr. Aire and Calder navigation 1699.2
Cooke was descended from Brian Cooke (d. 1653), an alderman and mayor of Doncaster, whose son, the 1st baronet, settled at Wheatley. A Royalist in the Civil War, he died unmarried in 1683, leaving Cooke’s father to succeed to title and estates. Although rumoured to be a candidate in the 1696 by-election at Aldborough, Cooke did not stand until the 1698 general election. Having a good interest of his own, and also having the support of the Wentworth family, who were lords of the manor, he topped the poll in a contested election. In late 1698 he was forecast as a likely opponent of a standing army, and at around the same time a comparison of the old and new Commons described him as a supporter of the Country party. In an analysis of the House into interests in January–May 1700 he was noted as doubtful or of the opposition.3
Cooke retired from politics at the next election in order to devote himself to his Yorkshire estates and to the development of his coal mines at Batley, where he was also a trustee of the local grammar school. As early as 1700 it was rumoured that he intended to sell his lands, and his electoral interest, at Aldborough, but this did not occur until 1702 when the lands were sold for £1,750 to the Duke of Newcastle (John Holles†). Despite his retirement from public life, in July 1713 it was reported that Cooke had been deputized by the leading Yorkshire manufacturers to thank the Queen for the ‘great advantages’ she had procured for the country by the French commercial treaty. Cooke died in 1732, being buried at Arksey, Yorkshire, on 12 Oct. In his will he recorded that he considered three of his sons, Bryan*, Henry and John, and one daughter, Elizabeth, to be ‘already well provided for’, and therefore desired that his manor at ‘Adwick upon the street in the county of York’ and the ‘mansion house wherein I live’ be sold by trustees in order to make a provision for his son Alexander and daughter Diana. His remaining son, George, who was also made executor, was left ‘all those my houses in Doncaster in St. George’.4
Ref Volumes: 1690-1715
Authors: Eveline Cruickshanks / Ivar McGrath
- 1. Dugdale’s Vis. Yorks. ed. Clay, iii. 200–1; Sheffield Archs. Copley mss CD18–19, settlement 12–13 June 1683.
- 2. HMC Lords, n.s. iii. 204.
- 3. E. Miller, Hist. Doncaster, 206; Thoresby, Ducatus Leodiensis, 75; N. Yorks. RO, Swinton mss, Danby pprs. ZS, particulars of the several interests in Aldborough, [n.d.], John Wentworth to Sir Abstrupus Danby*, 12 May 1698.
- 4. M. Sheard, Recs. Batley, 12; Swinton mss, Danby pprs. ZS, Edward Morris to Thomas Johnson, 2 Sept. 1700, Lady Wentworth to Danby, 21 Sept. 1700; Notts. RO, Portland mss DD3P 10/1, Newcastle acct. bks. 30 Mar. 1702; PRO 31/3/201/62; Clay, 200–1; Borthwick Inst. York, prerog. ct. wills, Doncaster, June 1733.